Israel's upcoming elections and the Arab vote - luncheon wit...

Israel's upcoming elections and the Arab vote - luncheon with The Abraham Fund Initiatives

Jan 14, 2015 12:30pm

Prior to the upcoming elections on March 17th, The Abraham Fund Initiatives conducted a study of current trends related to Arab voter participation. The study looked at attitudes and factors that may encourage or deter voting among Arab citizens, barriers to participation, and the effect of recent developments such as the Governance Bill (which raised the minimum threshold for elections from 2.5% to 3.25%) and the proposed Nationality Bill (defining the Jewish character of the state as a basic law).

A similar study conducted prior to the last elections in January 2013 pointed to the strong aspiration of Arab citizens to equal participation in Israeli society despite declining rates of voter participation.

The Abraham Fund Initiatives co-executive directors Dr. Thabet Abu Rass and Amnon Be'eri-Sulitzeanu discussed this year's preliminary findings at a JDC luncheon on January 14th.

About the speakers:

Amnon Be'eri-Sulitzeanu
Prior to serving as co-executive director of The Abraham Fund Initiatives, Amnon served as the Director of Marketing and Communications at the Jerusalem Foundation, under the leadership of Jerusalem Mayor Teddy Kollek and Ms. Ruth Cheshin. Prior to this, he worked as an Adviser to the Minister of Immigrant Absorption, Mr. Yair Tsaban (Meretz), and as the spokesperson of the Ministry.

Dr. Thabet Abu Rass
Thabet is a political geographer and a lecturer at Sapir College. Previously, he served as Negev branch director of Adallah - the Legal Center for the Rights of the Arab Minority in Israel. In that capacity he dealt with advancing the rights of the Arab-Bedouins of the Negev. Over the past few years, Abu Ras has also served as Co-Chairman of the board of Hand in Hand, an NGO for Jewish-Arab education in Israel. In his previous positions Abu Ras was Director of Shatil's Negev Branch and Director of the "Abu Basma Project," a joint project by the New Israel Fund and JDC-Israel for the advancement of the newly recognized Bedouin villages in the Negev.